Firstly, it is important to note the basic difference between the two terms and we’ll get down to the details later on. Just like a road bridge links to different roads over an obstruction, a wireless bridge has the same job. It ties two different networks together that may help and boost communication between the two. On the other hand, a wireless repeater only extends the range of Wifi signals simply to boost coverage.
Wireless repeaters create an access point for the signals to bounce off them and then boost their traveling distance over a cable. For example, if you’ve installed your router on the upper floor of your house. And you’re sitting on the couch in the living room downstairs. You would install a wireless Wifi repeater to make sure your phone can pick up the signals. You won’t be receiving any signals there and you’re bound to get up and move to your bedroom upstairs.
Install a wireless repeater at the boundary of the Wifi range, just when you start to lose signals. Once installed, the repeater would pick those signals, enhance the voltage, and send them off even stronger on their path. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy uninterrupted streaming and browsing anywhere inside the house.
As discussed in the opening paragraph of this post, a wireless bridge connects and links two different segments of a network. This is extensively used in commercial buildings as well as offices. A bridge is used to divide the large network into smaller segments, reducing the number of computer users in each segment of the network. Moreover, the offices use these to connect different floors and make a connection that doesn’t overload too easily.
A wireless network can be thought of as a highway that connects to cities. The more cars you have and the fewer exit points at regular intervals, the more likely it is that the highway is going to jam up with traffic. Likewise, when there’s too much network traffic, data transfer slows down which compromises productivity in an office. This is primarily why each floor is divided into a separate network and then linked together using a wireless bridge, not a repeater.
However, if an office floor is large, it may be important to set up a wireless repeater. When there’s too much data being transferred within an office, it tends to slow down and choke. A wireless repeater would simply pick the data and resend it with the original speed.
Before getting a repeater or a bridge, make sure to check their compatibility. Some models are only compatible with other products made by the same company. Also, make sure either of them can easily be set up at your premises. Though the companies do provide technical support, it’s nice to do something by yourself.
To sum the whole “wireless repeater vs wireless bridges” debate. The repeaters tend to boost signals while the bridges are there to connect networks. In an office, each floor can be connected using a wireless bridge while each separate floor can have a wireless repeater to avoid delays in data transfers.